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an attempt by an unpopular leader to rehabilitate his failed legacy by naming as his successor a person so corrupt and/or incompetent that the predictably disastrous reign to follow would make his own epic failure look like an epic win in comparison.

the tiberius gambit was named after the unpopular roman emperor tiberius who named as his successor his notoriously capricious and probably insane grandson caligula, who instituted a bloody reign of terror of the like even rome had never seen.
john mccain's nomination of sarah palin as his vice president has to be the first time i've ever seen anyone slap down a tiberius gambit even before they've become president.
by aarrgghh November 07, 2008
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